Doing the hard thing

Lake in New Hampshire

In the summer the sun rises early in New Hampshire. I knew there would be something to see if I set the alarm and rose to greet it. But I’d flown across country the day before and spent a good part of the evening catching up with family happenings.

I didn’t want to get up. Even so, I stumbled out and discovered this.

Beauty will sometimes allow us to share in its fullness if we do the hard thing, the one thing we really would rather not do. The reward becomes worth the effort.

We live in a moment of history
where change is so speeded up
that we begin to see the present
only when it is already disappearing.

~R. D. Laing~

 

Doesn’t take much to keep me happy

vase rock hedge

Abiquiu, New Mexico is north of Albuquerque, north of Santa Fe, even north of Taos. Georgia O’Keeffe discovered it and spent years there creating her own artistic way of seeing flowers, and nature, and blue sky.

When I visited her Ghost Ranch, the isolation and peace of the country allowed me to slow down and see what was actually in front of me, as well.

Gray, beige, ochre.

Rock, pottery, plant.

It doesn’t take much to keep me happy.

The world is full of magical things,
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
~Eden Phillpots~

 

The beauty in the edge

leaves of autumn

I was an enthusiastic tree climber as a youngster, mounting branch by branch to peek into birds’ nests and feel the bark against my fingers.

Nowadays, my leaf viewing is more distant.

But in Fall we get to see more than just color with fallen leaves. We view them, once again, up close and personal. When I find a perfect leaf, single and individual, I stop, compelled to admire its edges.

Life is a great big canvas.
Throw all the paint on it you can.
~Danny Kaye~

Where everybody knows your name

PJs Bar & Grille, Village of Oak Creek

When I was researching the setting for the latest Pegasus Quincy novel, I wanted to include a scene where Silver Delaney and Rory Stevens meet in a bar. But just not any bar.

This one had to be the local neighborhood hangout, where after work the lineup at the old wood bar is three deep. Where, when you arrive, the barkeep has your favorite drink mixed before you reach the end of the room.

The Village of Oak Creek has one, called PJ’s Bar & Grill. I happened to catch it for this photograph on a midday, mid-afternoon before all the regulars started to arrive.

You’ll find it in PERIL IN SILVER NIGHTSHADE. Watch for it!

I prefer the folly of enthusiasm
to the indifference of wisdom.

~Anatole France~

Equilibrium for a planet of paradox

Picture of pothole in Arizona desert

I’m a Weather Channel junkie, and this week I’ve been glued to the screen watching rivers overflow, highways flood, people rescued from rooftops and attics. Water at its most destructive.

Yet I am reminded that it isn’t always this way. In the Arizona desert, water is precious, every single drop. On the trail around Courthouse Butte near Sedona, this little pothole has always been a favorite of mine. It’s not big–maybe a foot long and less than that deep.

But long after the monsoon rains have departed, it will hold water which sustains the desert animals: deer, javelina, coatimundi, rabbits, and pack rats. Reaching for the last drop, they will travel for miles to visit it. Water as precious as diamonds, life-sustaining.

We live on a planet of paradox!

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.
As time remains free of all that it frames
May your mind stay clear of all it names.
~John O’Donohue, For Equilibrium~

Keep your eye on the sky

Sunlight behind the clouds

I had just come out of the grocery store. My mind was filled with eggs and celery and pork cutlets. Then I turned around and saw this.

I was transfixed, and so was everyone else in the parking lot. We stopped and stared. And then turned and nodded to each other, aware that what had transfixed us had halted others, too.

For one moment, we were united in a community of beauty. Water vapor and sunlight. Transformed just for us.

Happiness sneaks in through a door
you didn’t know you left open.
~John Barrymore~